By Owen Hewitt – 23 March 2007
As part of the MVP Summit held last week, those of us in the Games for Windows area were treated to a 1st class tour of ACES Studios given by none other than Mr. Hal Bryan, FS community evangelist extraordinaire.
The first thing you encounter along your way is a display case, packed full of the many awards that the FS series has won over the years. Not necessarily an “award,” but equally deserving of notariety is the fluorescent orange coffee cup in the upper right hand corner of the display, with a pen stuck through it. According to Hal, Shawn Firminger, ACES Studio manager, threw this pen, and amazingly stuck through the cup! Everyone was so amazed, they had Shawn sign the cup and proudly display it in the award case. I just had to ask!
Hal walked us through the many offices, allowing us to see and hear from the different developers, what each was up to at that moment. About 50% of who we spoke to was working on the SP1 and the others were working on the Adrenaline pack. We didn’t encounter everyone on the team, so that sampling was non-scientific, but I got a great feeling about the amount of attention SP1 is getting in those halls. I did get a chance to drop by Paul Lange’s office, and fly a quick mission that will be included in the Adrenaline expansion. Though I cannot say where it was, I can say that it was multiplayer and it involved Red Bull Air Race. It was good fun flying versus Paul’s sidekick, Brandon!
What a sense of humour these ACES guys have. Have a look at this poster I saw in one of the artists’ office. Yes, it is the Mallard Duck for FSX, complete with multiple liveries, fully amphibious features, and multiplayer compatibility! I wouldn’t expect to see this as an add-on in the future, but wouldn’t that be cool?
This is what I saw sitting on Brett’s desk. He said that it was not hooked up, nor had any internals, but what an awesome case! Can you imagine that fan? I’m sure it would be able to cool just about any components you could throw at it. I did some further digging, and found this page where you can actually purchase not only this case from iBuyPower, but also a pretty decked out laptop with FSX logo as well!
And finally, the office where Mike, Hal, John, and Brett work doubles as a fall-out shelter, if the FS community sends an onslaught of attacks; they have plenty of snacks to keep them fed for many days. They leave no stone unturned in these halls!
Many thanks to Hal and team for giving us a closer look at what makes things tick at ACES. Keep up the great work, and get that SP1 out! 😉
Our ongoing thanks to Owen not only for his support as an MVP, but for making the trip to visit us, and for giving us permission to repost his write-up here. Please check out his blog, Polypoke, for more.